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BellaOnline's Museums Editor

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Holiday Shopping at a Museum Store


Gone are the days when a museum store only carried postcards and coffee mugs.

Today museum stores offer a wide variety of specialty items, ranging from souvenirs and commemorative books to novelty items and high-end reproductions of furniture, sculptures, and jewelry.

Some of the many items you can find in a museum store include:

* Boxed notecards with images of artwork from the museumís collection

* Books in a variety of price ranges, covering local history as well as more broad themes

* Lovely tea cups, picture frames, figurines, and other decorative pieces

* Collectible items such as spoons, pins, and magnets

* Toys for the children in your life Ė maybe a Jacobís Ladder, Victorian doll, or set of graces

* Christmas ornaments of all shapes and sizes

* Reproduction furniture, rugs, and other textiles

Of course, the stock will vary from museum to museum. But you wonít know what they have if you donít go and find out!

If you only want to come in and shop, many museums will allow you to bypass the Admissions Window and head directly to the Museum Store.

Many museums rely on the income from museum shop sales to stay afloat. It is tough to be a non-profit in this economy, and it is important to create as many revenue streams as possible.

By purchasing items at the museum shop, you will be helping to support the educational work of that museum. Your purchase can help support salaries for a professional museum staff, preservation efforts for artifacts and historic buildings, education programs and school field trips, and traveling and in-house exhibits. If you're proud of your community, why not show that pride by supporting the cultural institutions in your own backyard?

In order to maintain its non-profit status, all items offered for sale in a museum shop must somehow relate to the museum's mission.

So if youíre still looking for that perfect gift, why not try your local museum? Youíll be surprised at what you find!



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The Smithsonian's Online Store
Celebrate the Holidays at a Museum
Museum Memberships Make Great Holiday Gifts
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Content copyright © 2013 by Kim Kenney. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Kim Kenney. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Kim Kenney for details.

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